Contact with the water is the moment of highest risk. Turns out your back isn’t a big fan of being compressed upon entry. “While the parts of the body under water are in highest deceleration, the rest of the body above the water is still in full acceleration,” Linder explained.
In the edge case of needing to jump ship, there are some rules of thumb to consider. Absolutely do not dive head first, Linder stressed. She likewise assured me that no experienced diver worth his Speedo will go into the water horizontally or make a crash-landing of any sort. Aim for clear, deep water. And be aware of any obstacles along the way.
I once jumped from about 40 feet into the placid, cobalt-blue waters of Lake Huron, and it was simultaneously propulsive, thrilling, and petrifying. Having to jump ship, romantic notions of Jack and “You-jump-I-jump” Rose notwithstanding, is entirely another matter. Linder recommend that for those about to take the dive, “necessary strengths include courage, self-confidence,” and “extraordinary physical control.” Flailing is failing, people.